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Fermentation Monitoring with Ultrasonic Backscattering

Battelle Number(s): 13818-B
Patent(s) Pending
Available for licensing in all fields
  • A diagram illustrates how a fermentation process is monitored by detecting ultrasound backscattered from the cells as a function of time.

  • This technology can be integrated with a glass fermentor such as this one, allowing a non-invasive online monitoring capability.

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Summary

In an experimental or production fermentation process, it is frequently necessary to monitor the growth of organisms within the fermentor. The typical method for doing this is a time-consuming and invasive process of collecting, diluting and counting a sample at periodic intervals.

Researchers at PNNL have developed an ultrasonic method for measuring organic growth within the fermentor and providing estimates of cell growth. By analyzing how ultrasonic signals are scattered and absorbed within the fermentor media as a function of time, information related to the organisms' size and population can be monitored during the fermentation process. This method may also provide online, real-time estimates to measure growth rates and help identify specific fermentation phases.

Advantages

  • Non-invasive, non-disruptive monitoring method
  • Saves time and reduces cost of fermentation monitoring

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